After couple weeks on the water, I’m happy to report that the high expectations we had for the season are becoming a reality.
The marsh and the river are still dropping, and the water levels have been ideal for targeting fishy side-channels and productive pools. The annual dorado migration is currently underway, and the whole system is fishing well. The Corriente River is teeming with some nice dorado. As for the Marsh, we’re finding the best action in the main channels and faster riffles.
Lower and clearer conditions in the headwaters have made the fishing more technical in that zone. Longer leaders are a must. Downstream in the river sections, we’ve had the best success banging the banks and prospecting in and around structure. The swung fly, in the large pools and long bends, has also been productive.
As always, Andino Deceivers and other big-game streamers are working well on the river; while smaller flies are where it’s at in the marsh. Orange/black streamers have been the go-to, especially for pickier fish. For the players, topwater mouse and popper patterns, as well as divers and gurglers, continue to evoke positive responses.
In addition to good dorado fishing, the topwater action for pira pita has been on point. We’re also fooling a few Surubi, aka catfish. Hope to see you on the water soon!
- Fabian Anastasio
Oct – Nov, 2017
A Stellar Start at Pira Lodge
We began the season with relatively high water levels in both the Corrientes River and the Ibera Marsh headwaters. Ample flows gave us the ability to re-explore many of the channels that had for years been too low to maneuver into.
Little by little, water levels, however, have dropped. And we’re now finding most fish in the main channels and the lagoons. The dorado we’ve so far caught have been identified as resident fish. The migration has been somewhat delayed, but we’re expecting it to ramp up soon—which will mean an influx of fresh fish. Baitfish are currently hustling up the Corrientes River. That means the dorado aren’t far behind.
In the marsh, top-water flies have been working very well, especially mini-poppers and mouse patterns. In the Corrientes, as per usual, the Andino Deceiver continues to kill it. Poppers and divers have also moved some nice fish. But really, any kind of deceiver—in black/yellow or orange/chartreuse—is a good choice. Lighter color combos such as white/yellow and white/green have worked well, too.
What lines? It’s been a matter of floating varieties for the marsh, and floating and sinking lines for the river. Water clarity is crystal right now, so we’re recommending long leaders—between 8 and 10 feet.
2017 Season End Report
A Year in Review
Pira Lodge’s season began with great weather, ideal water conditions, and a remarkable push of dorado. Expectations were understandably high and on the Corriente River they would soon be met and even exceeded. Mixing it up between throwing streams and skating mouse patterns we prospected for players and found consistent hookups with both sinking and floating-line presentations.
As the season progressed, water levels dropped and temperatures climbed. So we ventured into the marsh for a little shade. The fishing remained good, using mainly floating lines and targeting deer-hair loving, surface-oriented dorado. In addition to goldens, we found pira pita paradise—a surprise considering how few we typically catch in the marsh.
A number of fun-timing guests joined us this season, including a few first-timers. Mark from the UK, for instance, landed a 15-pounder during his initial outing. Peter and Sheryl, on the other hand, joined us for the fourth time, which turned out to be their best time yet. Another memorable guest was Wayne H., who caught the biggest fish of the summer: 17 pounds. That was until our friend Hernan bested him with a beastly 20-pounder to close the year. In addition to those two big fish, we landed many in the 12- to 15-pound range all season long. Linda N., who traveled from Alaska to Pira by herself, had a wonderful time playing with these double-digit dorado.
Rain season came late in the summer. During January and February, water levels consistently dropped… and the fishing was consistently great. But by the beginning of March, storms rolled in raising the water-table and effectively cooling it down. The weather brought some changes to the fishing, too: baitfish flooded into the side-channels and lagoons. The dorado followed. And so did we, finding success in the margins.
Overall, guests hooked and landed an impressive 1,507 dorado this season—from 4 pounds up to 24. For us, this was the best season we’ve seen and it was a pleasure sharing the beauty of this place with you. Thanks, and come back soon.
Fishing Manager, Pira Lodge
February 2017February began with good water conditions. The result was 60 golden dorado caught between 3 boats during the first week. Most of the fish were in the 6-10 pound range, but we also found a few 12-13 pounders. Justin S. landed a beauty 14-pounder while Daniel, who shared the boat with him, found an 11-pounder the same day. As the month progressed the number of fish caught remained stable. Weather and water levels were on our side, too.Throughout the month we visited the upper part of the marsh, exploring a branch of the Hilton Chanel, and using floating lines and drys. Some clients, including Pablo S. and Sebastian C., experimented with ultralight 2- and 4-weight rods. When a dorado felt the sting of the hook, it wasn’t easy to stop them. But we still managed to land a few.In addition to the upper, we swung the Corriente River with the standard streamers, but we also had success fishing Dalberg Divers and mouse patterns on floating lines.Alfredo A. took home Big Fish Honors for his 17-pound powerhouse. The biggest of the season. Congrats, Alfredo!Near month’s end the dorado began spreading out, but the population in the marsh is stable. A few storms rolled through, cooling the water by a couple degrees. Fishing remains hot.February ends with a total of 614 fish landed.—Jose CaparrósFishing Manager, Pira Lodge
This year marks one of the best seasons I’ve experienced in the Ibera wetlands. And we couldn’t have asked for a better start. Water conditions are lower than last summer, which has meant great fishing in both marsh and Corriente River zones. Water temperatures have been a fish-friendly 25 to 30 degrees C. And day by day we’ve been seeing more and more fish caught.
Spawning last year was highly successful. All along the river edges and shallow side-channels we’re finding juvenile dorado. These smaller fish are fun to target with floating lines and dry flies such as mouse patterns and skaters. In addition to dorado, we’re using the same techniques for pira pita.
Areas upstream of the lodge, deep in the marsh, have fished well. Here were finding good flows, plenty of forage, and piles of dorado in the 3- to 7-pound range. Downstream on the Corriente River we’re finding bigger dorado on streamers, using both floating and sinking lines (250-300 grains). These fish have ranged from 6 to 20+ pounds. And they’re abundant. We’ve been finding big schools of larger fish, for instance, in areas of faster water.
Last week we saw impressive numbers of sabalo in the river and the marsh. We also caught lighter-colored dorado, with worn fins that look like they came from Parana River. Weather for now remains stable—hot and humid as to be expected for this time of year.
Total number of dorado caught from Jan. 7-31: 612
—Jose Caparros, Pira Lodge Fishing Manager